As known from:
  • About
  • Our US Squad
  • Our Review Process
  • Gamble Responsibly
  • Get In Touch
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
US Gambling Sites / Betting Guide / Kelly Strategy 2022

Kelly Strategy 2022

Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Last Updated on 26/11/2022
Fact checked by: Josh Schwartz

Variable betting is a powerful tool used to win more and lose less with sports betting, or at least that’s the goal with methods like the Kelly strategy. Players adjust their wagers up and down based on their information to win more reliably. The Kelly Criterion relies on using bankroll information, odds information and probability to determine how much money to wager with each bet. The betting strategy is a bit confusing and relies on a formula, and it’s aggressive with many of the wager amount recommendations that it makes, but that’s why the strategy works so well. Gamblers that want to win as much as possible can benefit from the strategy. Below we cover how the strategy works, we break down the formula and explain some alternatives to the Kelly Strategy as well.

Kelly Strategy Key Facts

  • Makes use of advanced information for accurate wagering
  • Changes based on probability, odds and bankroll
  • Maximize wins
  • Minimize losses

What is Variable Staking?

Variable staking is a betting strategy that relies on betting different amounts each time to adjust with a changing bankroll, odds and wagering success. There are dozens of different variable staking techniques, some of which work better than others. Serious sports bettors should try out different wagering strategies to see which ones work best for them and which ones simply don’t feel right. Often several strategies are used with different betting lines, but not always. We have these betting lines explained here.

Variable staking is a wagering technique that tries to increase the profit potential of wins, while reducing losses overall. Some strategies rely on changing the overall wager amount based on bankroll size, and others change things up depending on odds, past success and other variables. The Kelly Strategy is an advanced variable staking strategy that takes all of those different things into account.

Understanding the Kelly Strategy

For gamblers that don’t mind relying on more advanced strategies, the Kelly formula can be a powerful tool for winning more effectively while wagering online. This variable staking strategy has gamblers change the amount they wager based on the odds of the specific wager as well as their total bankroll size. By accounting for these two important variables the strategy can more effectively adjust to help enhance wins and minimize losses.

How Does it Work?

The Kelly Criterion relies on an advanced formula to explain how much to wager in each specific situation. In order for the formula to work the player must determine the chances of winning or losing a specific wager as accurately as possible. The more accurate the prediction is, the more effective the Kelly strategy is to use. Gamblers that want to make use of this unique betting strategy just have to get information about the wager, like the odds and the probability of winning the wager, and combine them with information about their current bankroll amount to get a suggested wager amount. The better the chances are of winning the wager, the more money players are recommended with this betting strategy. That’s what makes it so effective and what helps gamblers to be profitable over time.

What is the Benefit of the Kelly Strategy?

When used effectively the Kelly strategy can make gamblers more profitable. That’s because the strategy minimizes losses and maximizes wins as regularly as possible. By accounting for the odds of winning or losing, the criterion raises bets and lowers them to make sure as much money is coming in as possible while letting go of as little as possible. This strategy can be used for all sorts of different sports bets, and it isn’t difficult to use either after getting familiar with it, but getting those odds right is the most important step to making it work. Get accurate odds and you’ll win more consistently. Mess up the odds frequently and you’ll lose considerably more than necessary while using the strategy.

Exploring the Formula

The Kelly Criterion relies on a specific formula to determine how much money should be wagered each time. Deciding what to bet is as simple as plugging in the different numbers and placing the wager suggested at the end.

The formula is as follows: (bp – q) / b = f

What the Formula Means

  • b = the decimal odds of the bet minus 1
  • p = the probability of a wager being successful in decimal form. A 60% probability is 0.60
  • q = the probability of a wager losing, it’s simply 1 – p or .40 in this instance.

f = the fraction of your total bankroll you should wager.

To make use of the formula players need only plug in all the different bits of information about a specific wager. Plug that information in and they will know exactly how much of their bankroll they should be wagering for the specific bet opportunity. The amount to wager changes dramatically depending on the conditions of the bet, and that’s the whole point of the Kelly Strategy. The strategy makes it easier to fully leverage the power of a good winning opportunity while working hard to help avoiding betting too much on a bet that offers too little of a reward for the risk.

Testing it Out

Now that we’ve explained the formula a bit, it’s time to test it out in a simple example to really showcase how it works.

Imagine that we’re placing a wager with a 60% chance of winning and 2.00 odds.

Our bankroll is $2,500 giving us a decent amount that we can wager comfortably.

To find out exactly how much to wager we only need to plug the numbers into the formula.

(bp – q) / b = f

b is 1 in this instance because that’s 2.00 – 1

p is .60 and q is .40 giving you all the information you need to plug everything in.

You get ((1*.6) - .4) / 1 = f

Or .2 = f when you do out the math.

That means with those odds and that probability you should wager approximately 20% of your total bankroll. In this case that would be $500. Even slight fluctuations in odds or the probability of winning can adjust the total amount that should be wagered in a big way. After looking at the formula in action it’s easy to see how some gamblers might say that the strategy is aggressive. Most betting experts would never recommend wagering $500 at a time with a $2,500 bankroll, but that doesn’t mean that the system won’t work for you.

Is the Kelly Strategy Right for Everyone?

It’s important for gamblers to take the time to decide if the Kelly strategy is right for them before implementing it all the time. It’s a much more aggressive strategy than something like fixed wagering is, but it’s a strategy that can pay off in a big way for gamblers that are good at predicting their probability of winning any one bet. If they predict the probability properly they will likely win big using the Kelly Criterion, some gamblers will have a hard time making the wagers needed to make the most of the strategy though. There are instances where a wager of 50% or more must be laid down to get the most from the betting strategy. When that’s the case only gamblers comfortable with making those sorts of wagers will benefit from the system. Everyone else should go with a more reserved betting strategy that they can be more comfortable with.

The Kelly Strategy is also more difficult to make use of than something like the Martingale betting strategy or fixed wagering. You can read an overview about the Martingale betting strategy here.

Test out the Strategy Today

Sports bettors should take some time to test out the Kelly Criterion to see if the strategy will work for them. This powerful betting strategy is a tool that can result in some impressive wins, but it’s something that only works well for some gamblers. Take the time to look through different sportsbooks, decide on one to join and start testing out this strategy to see how well it will work for you. Sign up today and start working toward bigger and better profits.

SI Sportsbook
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
SI Sportsbook Sports Promo
SI Sportsbook Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
  • Over 60 years in the business
  • Wide range of sports betting markets
  • Compatible with mobile platforms
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly - Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
100% up to
$500 Sports Promo
100% up to $500 Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
  • High-quality live betting options
  • Range of sports available
  • Excellent usability
BetMGM Sportsbook
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
100% up to
BetMGM Sportsbook Sports Promo
100% up to $1000
BetMGM Sportsbook Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
  • Excellent range of sports markets
  • Plenty of betting options
  • Impressive odds
DraftKings Sport
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
20% up to
DraftKings Sport Sports Promo
20% up to $1000
DraftKings Sport Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
  • Massive sports bonus
  • Competitive betting odds
  • Good live betting platform
FanDuel Sport
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
FanDuel Sport Sports Promo
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
FanDuel Sport Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
  • Coverage for 16+ sports
  • User-friendly site
  • Competitive odds

Conclusion: The Kelly Strategy is Complicated but Effective

The Kelly Strategy is an advanced variable staking strategy used by sports bettors to help them place more effective wager amounts. This strategy is confusing to understand, but many gamblers report success using it. It’s worth trying out, and it’s a tool that gamblers can use easily if they get a calculator to determine the recommended wager amount each time.

Read Also
Teaser Betting Strategy 2022
The teaser is a common betting tool designed to make parlay bets ...
Future Betting Strategy 2022
Future betting strategy is something that many sports bettors could benefit from ...
SI Sportsbook Promo
Betting Hedge 2022
Online gamblers today use a betting hedge strategy to help themselves win ...
Prop Betting Strategy 2022
Prop bets are common on sportsbooks from around the world, and they’re ...
The Wire Act 2022
The Wire Act is a major betting law that passed back in ...
Sportsbook of the month
SI Sportsbook - Get your Free Bet now! Get your Free Bet now!
Legal Information:
Check out our Legal Information section for the latest news and developments in the gambling market. Read More
Our Team
Mark LewisJosh SchwartzDrew the DFS Guy
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Drew the DFS Guy
Drew the DFS Guy
DFS Expert
Get the latest updates in Sports and Casino via our Newsletter

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

Move to Top
Our Sports Pros recommend these awesome sports betting sites this week:
Your Bonus Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site